Al Gore is getting a bit of Pyrrhic vindication these days, what with the overt impacts of climate change further ravaging the only planet we can currently live on. Gore was an early climate change alarmist, so people starting to think about worrying about the impact humans have had on the global climate kind of takes the sting out of what he endured from skeptics over the years. You know, kind of.
Some of those notable skeptics, Matt Parker and Trey Stone of South Park, offered a very public apology earlier in November with a two-episode arc where they essentially apologized for an episode where they portrayed Gore’s alarmism as worrying and crying wolf about nothing.
The Season 10 episode about Gore hunting for a nonexistent ManBearPig essentially labeled Gore as someone worrying about nothing, and the two episodes South Park put out this year made ManBearPig very real. And Gore certainly took notice of the apparent apology. The former vice president of the United States was asked about the South Park apology by a person in the audience of The Daily Show.
Gore essentially retold the entire story to a crowd that almost certainly already knew the tale, but he also said he was “so impressed” by how South Park and its writers handled the apology.
“So 12 years ago, they did that episode that had me hysterically warning about a nonexistent problem, this ManBearPig. And for years, I get this question,” Gore said. “So now, all of a sudden, a few weeks ago out of the blue they come out with these new episodes and the kids on South Park realize ManBearPig is real!
This obviously delighted Gore, who is probably not a huge South Park fan but definitely knows about ManBearPig and knew a question like this was coming. So how does he feel about Trey and Matt and how they treated him? Pretty good, actually.
Honestly, I was so impressed. I don’t know these guys, Matt and Trey. And I kind of thought they were nihilists of sorts. But funny nihilists. And when they come out with this new thing, and they had the kids come out and seek me out to help them. But my character forces them to apologize.
And they all say ‘Oh, we’re so sorry, Al Gore.’ ManBearPig is real! I thought it was a hell of a statement by South Park and I appreciated it a lot.
Gore has gone through a lot over the years because of his An Inconvenient Truth, and many still don’t believe that climate change is even real. But if Gore’s made who he accurately described as “funny nihilists” issue an apology and take climate change more seriously, he’s got to mark that as a bit of progress.